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CHEKE CHA MBUNDA CULTURAL AND WRITERS ASSOCIATION
SPEECH ON THE ANGOLA PEACE DAY CELEBRATIONS
BY THE NATIONAL CHAIRMAN – NDANDULA LIBINGI
ON 7TH APRIL 2012
Your Excellency, the Ambassador of Angola in Zambia
Senior Government Officials,
Hon. Members of Parliament,
Presidents of Political Parties,
Excellencies the Ambassadors,
May I Say All Protocol Observed,
Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is our great honor to be accorded this rare occasion to address this very happy gathering, on this very important day for Angola. May you once again allow us to convey our heartfelt congratulations to you, for your appointment to this honorable position in Government. We believe your portfolio is not only to come and strengthen the relationship between Zambia and Angola, but also paying attention to the
interest of the Angolans in the Diaspora, and not forgetting Zambians with roots in Angola.
In general, peace can be described as: calm, quiet, stillness, tranquility, silence, harmony or serenity. But, in Angola it is more fitting to describe peace as: end of war, amity, harmony, freedom from strife or reconciliation.
However, peace in relation to Angola is a unique phenomenon, which need to be taught and natured. Why do I say so? Angola has seen war for 35 years, as a result children who were born during the war grew up, married and bore children in war. Therefore to such people, peace is not in their vocabulary. War and personal security is all they know, hence the need to teach them what peace is and nature it.
1) The Mbunda historical book, “The History and Cultural Life of the Mbunda Speaking People” in English and later translated into Mbunda under the title “Chikota Cha Vambunda Kuthan’ulu Na Chithemwa Chavo”. This is for preservation of a correct cultural context of the Mbunda Speaking People and disseminate the same to other people who may be interested.
2) Translation of the Bible into Mbunda is another success achieved for spiritual growth of its people.
3) The provision of humane and material support to its chiefs and formation of cultural groups to enhance traditional activities, including the “Makithi” (known in other tribes as “makishi) for cultural pride of the Mbunda people and country as a whole.
4) With the introduction of our website: http://www.mbundakingdom.org and the Cheke Cha Mbunda Facebook, Mbundas locally and in Diaspora have been strengthened with tools to interact quickly and exposed our history.
In the 1500's a group of Bantu people left what is now Sudan during the Bantu migration. Among these were the Mbundas, one of the oldest and biggest ethnic grouping in Southern Africa. The Mbunda Kingdom dates back from well before the Mwantiyavwa Dynasty was established in Kola.
Mbunda traditions about the earlier travels of Chinguli, one of the progenitors of the Mbunda royal dynasty, had been handed down through the generations. Mwene Kathangila ka Mukenge wished to emulate his illustrious predecessor and directed his attention to plans for the expansion of the Mbunda chieftainship. We remember Mwene Kathangila ka Mukenge well in the song that records these hopes of the King and how he was implored to curtail his explorations in favour of attending to the affairs of the Mbunda state.
Ija umone milonga ya Mbunda,
Yauno mwaya Mwene Kathangila,
Kapanga miyati waya nakulila,
Njilinyenga Mwene Kathangila,
Likiko lya Mbunda waya nakulila.
The song means:
Run for Kathangila, who is travelling.
Come back and take care of your Mbunda
There goes King Kathangila
He who split the tribe goes weeping
My heart aches for King Kathangila
The protector and inspirer of the Mbunda, who travels
While shedding tears.
It is still sung by present day diviners in their rituals and ceremonies.
In the course of time, Mwene Kathangila ka Mukenge, dispatched Munamwene Ndongo, who was a son of Mwene ya Ngoma Chingwanja and his followers, to settle in the valleys of the Kwandu river. Munamwene Ndongo went to settle on an island that to this day is still known as Lithivi lya Kandungo within the waters of the Kwandu river.
In his migrations Mwene Kathangila ka Mukenge journeyed up to the Kweve, a tributary of the Kwitu river and died there.
How Did He Split The Tribe, We may Ask?
This led to the first migration which saw three Mbunda sub-groups branching off from the central Mbunda chieftainship, the Mbunda ya Mathzi. These eventually became known as:
(1) the Mbunda-Yauma, of Mwene Mwiinga, a son of Mbiya who in turn, was a son of Kalomo and who was fathered by Mushanya. These are the ones that migrated to the higher lands of the valleys of Kwandu river such as “Chunga cha Kembo”, “Chunga cha Ndeke” and “Chunga cha Chikeleti”;
What Happened To Those That Remained At Mithimoyi?
Mbundas from Mithimoyi eventually moved southwards to a larger settlement, where the Mbunda Kingdom continued to flourish in what became known as Mbundaland from Lungwevungu river to Kwandu Kuvango, with Lumbala Nguimbo becaming their capital.
However, some remained there. These were later called the Mbunda-Sango, who were the progeny of intermarriages between the Mbunda and the Luvale; on the other side of the Lungevungu and lutembwe rivers.
The Mbunda ethnic group and state, stayed intact through the centuries; up to the time of the thirteenth monarch Mwene Yamba Yamba Kapanda. Later during the reign of the fifteenth monarch Mwene Ngonga I "Chiteta" (The Beheader) a second migration took place. After the assasination of Mwene Katavola I Mwechela, another sub-group branched off. These eventually became known as; Mbunda-Mbalango, of Mwene Muundu of Mwene Mahongo, and Mwene Kandala of Mwene Mbambi. These are the ones that migrated to Mbalango area, at the confluence of Lungevungu and Lwanginga rivers.
Part of this Mbunda sub-group eventually migrated to Barotseland in 1795 in the first and second migrations, followed by the Mwene Chiyengele Chingumbe group from the central Mbunda Monarch, Mbunda Mathzi. These were later called Mbunda Shamuka in Barotseland.
What Disturbed Peace in Angola?
As we know today, the coming of the Portuguese colonialists and subsequent abduction and killing of the 21st Mbunda Monarch in 1914, led to Mbunda/Portuguese war. The Portuguese applied divide and rule methods and used other Angolan ethnic groups to attack the Mbundas, which led to the Mbundas losing the war due to lack of know how to manufacture gun powder in 1929. This led to the second Mbunda migration into Barotseland.
This was followed by the third Mbunda migration caused by the liberation war of Angola against the Portuguese colonialists leading to Angolan independence in 1975. Finally, the fourth Mbunda migration into Zambia was caused by the civil war following the independence between MPLA and UNITA forces which ended in 2004.
Therefore the seven Mbunda branches known as; Mbunda Mathzi, Mbunda Yauma, Mbunda Nkangala, Mbunda Mbalango, Mbunda Shamuka, Mbunda Ndundu and Mbunda Sango today are settled in Lungevungu, Lwanginga and Kwandu rivers and their tributaries. They have also crossed Zambezi river and settled in Kabompo, Zongwe, Lwena, Lwampa, Luyi, Lwanginga, Lukute rivers and their tributaries. His Majesty King Mbandu III is King regnant of Mbundaland today.
Ngangela Confussion in Angola Today
Your Excellency, in an effort by the Portuguese to completely wipe out the Mbunda language and Tribe in Angola, they used a tool called Ngangela.
The Tribal map of Angola today shows the whole Eastern Angola to be occupied by the tribe called Ngangela. To the centrally, East Angola today is mainly occupied by a thirteen (13) family Mbunda descendant group: Mbunda Mathzi, Chimbandi, Vimbundu, Lwiimbi, Ngonjelo, Nyemba, Luchazi, Sango, Mbalango, Yauma, Nkangala, Ndundu and Mashaka. It also includes some tribes we have co-existed with, who are: Chokwe, Luvale and Lunda. As a result of this Mbunda language is slowly being removed from the six national languages of Angola and being replaced by Ngangela. Ngangela is not a tribe, neither is it a language nor lingua franca, but a derogatory name which also means Eastern (a direction).
Your Excellency, it is our desire to go back to Angola, and we continue preaching that message to our people that our country is now free, but there are still challenges that continue to make our people obstinate, and these are as follows:
i) Lack of Schools and Hospitals – It is not possible that all returnees will crowd themselves in Lumbala Nguimbo, but rural areas where they came from. Hence lack of these facilities in these places make them shudder because they are returning with their children who are already in Schools and are used to good medical facilities.
ii) There is reports that many Mbundas from Universities of Zambia, South Africa, Namibia etc are not accepted to work in public offices.
We call upon the Government of Angola to stop using the Portuguese colonialist tool of divide and rule called Ngangela, to continue wiping out the Mbunda tribe and language.
Our appeal to your Government is to help in looking at these impediments. Together we can look at strategies to develop our country. We have already submitted our Developmental Strategic Plan through our Monarch King Mbandu III, suggesting to utilize the Economic, Social and Cultural values to develop our land. After studying the strategic plan we expect him to take it up with the Government.
We thank you, Your Excellency.
Cheke Cha Mbunda Cultural and Writers Association
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